Rhodes University was founded in 1904. It is one of the oldest universities in Africa, and has long been one of the finest universities in South Africa. Though small at 3,200 students, it is an internationally known center of academic excellence.
Students will enroll in regular Rhodes University classes. Academic departments at Rhodes include Afrikaans Studies, Anthropology, Biochemistry and Microbiology, Business, Education, English, Fine Art, Geography, History, Human Kinetics and Ergonomics, International Studies, Political Science, Sociology, Statistics, Zoology and Entomology, and more. The university is broken down into Colleges of Commerce, Education, Humanities, Law, and Pharmacy. Students may attend Rhodes for one semester or for one year. The school year is divided into four terms. Terms one and two go from around mid-February to mid June; terms three and four go from mid-July until mid-December. Generally, more spaces are available in terms three and four.
The Country and City
South Africa lies at the foot of the great continent of Africa. It is a diverse country with a long and interesting history. With a population of about 46 million, South Africa is one of the most populous as well as largest nations on the continent. It is a middle-income, developing country with modern infrastructure and abundant natural resources, well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors. Its beauty is commented upon by every visitor.
Easter Cape Province, the region in which Rhodes University is located, is in the southeast of the country on the Indian Ocean. It consists of rolling grasslands, The Great Karoo desert, extensive forests, mountain ranges, and fabulous beaches among the very best in the world. Grahamstown, the home of Rhodes University, is set in rolling hills. It is a cathedral town founded as a military outpost in 1812. Situated about 45 miles from Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown is a peaceful town, home to one of South Africa's premier universities.
Rhodes owes its unique character among
South African universities to a combination of factors, some historical,
some geographical, some cultural and some architectural. An important
influence in this respect is the University's smallness, which, together
with its residence system, allows unusually close contact between
students and their lecturers, in surroundings that foster fellowship and
learning. Small classes mean more personal attention and encourage
greater involvement of students in their work. The end result is that
successive generations of Rhodes graduates have had an influence on
South African and world affairs out of all proportion to their small
Today Rhodes has just under 5000 students, with some fifty-five percent
of them living in the University residences. Students come from all
over souther Africa, including Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia,
Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This number of overseas students
enhances the cosmopolitan character of campus life. At the same time,
Rhodes could also be described as a most 'South African' university,
drawing students from all the provinces of the country.